YALI Alumni Opportunities for Fellows
Mandela Washington Fellows’ U.S.-based training is only the beginning of the United States’ long-term investment in these young leaders. The U.S. Government is working with businesses, governments, and NGOs to create ongoing professional opportunities and resources to support these young leaders when they return home.
Professional Development: The U.S. Government is securing over 200 internships and professional placements for Mandela Washington Fellows in private companies, government ministries, research institutes, multilateral organizations, and non-profit or community-based organizations on the continent. Fellows will be placed in internships in private sector companies such as Microsoft and global NGOs, such as Partners for Democratic Change.
Mentoring: Fellows will be matched with mentors – industry leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, including from major international companies and U.S. organizations with operations in Africa – who will guide and support Fellows as they seek to apply the lessons and skills gained through their fellowship experience, plan short and long-term career goals, and grow professionally after their return to Africa.
Seed Funding: Mandela Washington Fellows will have access to dedicated funding to support their ideas, businesses, and organizations and undertake joint projects to improve their communities. More than $5 million in small grants will be awarded in the first three years by the U.S. African Development Foundation for Mandela Washington Fellows seeking to start or enhance their businesses or social enterprises. In addition, Washington Fellows will be able to attract funding for their ventures and projects through RocketHub’s dedicated YALI crowdfunding platform.
Contributing to the Community: The State Department will invest an additional $5 million over the next three years to help Fellows establish or grow their own NGOs, undertake projects to improve their communities, or work collaboratively to build the network of young African leaders, including in underserved areas. Fellows will serve as mentors to other young Africans in eight Connect Camps, where they will use technology to promote social good and community engagement.
Leveraging Ongoing U.S. Government Investments: USAID will leverage more than $350 million in existing youth programs and development initiatives to give the Fellows access to a broad array of assistance and support. For instance, under the Feed the Future Initiative, Fellows in selected countries will benefit from training programs and tailored internships.
Sustaining a Strong Network
U.S. embassies will provide resources and support to ensure that Mandela Washington Fellows stay connected through in-country alumni associations and community service activities. Fellows will have access to virtual exchange toolkits (customized for a wide range of bandwidth environments) in order to maintain strong connections back to the United States and extend their experience to other young Africans. Finally, the U.S. Government will organize regular local and regional events and networking opportunities to sustain deep ties with these dynamic Fellows over the years to come.